Created by Bay Area cookbook author Eric Gower, this ultraquick and unusual version of Japanese dashi (soup stock) delivers a serious umami punch, made even tastier by the addition of Darjeeling tea leaves. Use it as a base for a quick soup--it's very good with slices of the mushrooms you used to make the dashi, plus a curl or two of aged pecorino romano cheese. Or use it to deglaze pans for sauce, or to make insanely delicious rice (use half water, half Darjeeling dashi).
2 tablespoons dried tomatoes
1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons aka (red) miso
1 tablespoon Darjeeling tea leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Combine tomatoes, mushrooms, soy sauce, and honey with 1 qt. water in a medium saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. Turn off heat and whisk in miso, tea leaves, and salt; let steep 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh colander (save shiitakes for another use, such as fried rice, pasta, or in the dashi for soup). Let cool. Dashi keeps, chilled, in a large glass jar for up to 1 week.